Friday, September 28, 2007
I received this comment: "I have been debating my buddy about this through email. He says that the only people that are currently skeptical of global warming have ties to energy companies. Does anyone have a counter to his assertion?"
It's an important question...because I hope that we never replicate the kind of political behaviour that drove us to gas shortages--pictured above--during the '70's. Once Big Government tries to apply solutions to market problems, all kinds of evil can pop up.
Here's a couple of links that you could share with your True Believer buddy.My favorite is "Paunder the Maunder", by high school student Kristen Byrnes. Of course it is possible that Kristen's dad--or someone in her family--works for Big Oil. Maybe even a gas station. Oil is oil, bad is bad...etc.
Phil Stott is an Emeritus Professor from the University of London. In an article posted at ABC News, he complains about the costs of hoaxing up Global Warming in the face of real threats to real people right now. It's possible he, or someone he knows, owns oil company stocks. The jury is still out.
If your GWBuddy is science minded there are some rather more difficult sites that one could appeal to. My favorite is Climate Audit. In this article, Steve McIntyre show us the latest in his attempt to duplicate James Hansens panurgy.
If you'd like a critique of the IPCC report, I suggest Climate Science. While Mr. Pielke has no known connection with Big Oil, he does have some experience with climate, having received his Ph.D. from Penn State, and having worked for NOAA, UVirginia, CSU, Duke, UAz, as well as other job titles. The site hasn't been updated since September 3rd...but that might hopefully change.
There are more sources out there. One of my favs is the Competitive Enterprise Institute. But you can clearly see on the Home Page an ad for Ethanol. So...somewhere there's a dog in the hunt. But with a little math, and a little common sense, you can sort out the BS.
Unless you're a Lefty. Then you Live for the Narrative Thread!
James Hansen says that government should point the
country in an economically sensible way toward the
inevitable future "beyond fossil fuels", so that the global
warming problem could be solved readily.
In my post, "Follow the Money" I point out that the campaign for Global Warming was paid for in large measure by George Soros' money groups. For Global Warming activist James Hansen, that figure is about $720-thousand.
In "Oregon's Energy Policy: It's About Shoes & Stuff" I point out that our state governor's approach to Global Warming as evidenced by his Climate Change Group was flawed.
But the criticism remains. The Global Warming hoax has an agenda. And while complaining about reports on his funding sources--he refers to those who criticize him as "swift-boaters and contrarians"--he actually lets you take a peek at the economic agenda driving the Global Warming Hoax.
In "Shoes & Stuff" I point out the fatal dagger in the governor's climate group strategy. Imagine a climate group without a single representative from energy and transportation companies. It could be that worrying about the economic impact of findings from such a group are secondary. Again, what is the agenda?
Here's James Hansen (pdf):
"The bottom line of talks that I have been giving recently on global warming concerns the generational inequity. Those making the mess are not the ones who will pay--it is their children and grandchildren. I note that the people best able to solve the problem are the "captains of industry".
"For whatever reasons, our captains have chosen to emphasize short-term profits. The captains are not stupid, though. They did not get to be the CEOs without being pretty smart. Thus is born a strategy to appeal to them through their grandchildren."
Can't make an argument to an adult? Target the children. Capitalism bad. Lefty is good.
What prattle. And this form the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Let's assume that he too is "not stupid". You know he's taken Lefty money. You see that when his financing has become public that those who point this out are swift-boaters and contrarians. And now you see that the role of the market--providing the goods and services demanded by consumers--is nothing more than a trick to achieve short-term profits. Those bastards!
And finally, what does Mr. Hansen call for?
"So the task is back to you, young people. Let your parents and grandparents know that you understand posturing. Appealing on a personal level and expecting accountability can still be effective. Don't let them off the hook.
"'Hey, Grandfather, it's my planet too!'"
Or course, actions at MIT would lead one to ask why we should follow the lead of these youngsters. They're not doing such at hot job of instilling confidence in their choices. But the left has never relied upon critical thinking to advance their cause. As Mr. Hansen points out, this is not a campaign that can be won on its merits. It's one that must be advanced throught the appeal to emotions.
Will the Left be able to supplant the market to substitute its own economic agenda? I truly hope not.
UPDATE: This from Newsbusters.
UPDATE: This, on Swift-boating and Oregon's own Blumenauer, from NW Republican.
UPDATE: This, on Soros dough, from The Clue Batting Cage.
Author's note: I was very pleased to find out that I was now a Swift-boater. I missed that whole John Kerry thing since I'd never served in the Navy. I'm pleased to find out that military service is no longer a requisite to be considered among those amazing gentlemen. I've just e-mailed my mom.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Reading through it, you begin to understand a little about the thinking of teachers. They're there. They get paid. These are good things. It's For the Kids.
In Portland, seven of 15 schools offering 9th to 12th grade met the annual instructional time requirement of 990 hours.
In Portland, no school offering 12th grade met the annual instructional time requirement of 990 hours.
I've heard very good things about the Salem Public School system. One of the best indicators of excellence has always been the quality of a school district's music program, and Salem has one of the best in the state. How are their high schools doing? According to this report:
North Salem HS.......1,017 reported hours
South Salem HS.......1,010 reported hours
West Salem Hs.........1,010 reported hours
McKay HS....................995 reported hours
McNary HS..................995 reported hours
Sprague HS..................995 reported hours
Only two Portland High Schools matched or exceeded these hours.
Read the report. And remember, all politicians talk about is more money. After reading the report you may get the idea that something more important should be addressed. Given all the money we spend, shouldn't we focus on time spent teaching?
Teachers are going to hate this report. It's going to force them back into the classroom to do the thing they were hired to do.
More info from PPS here.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
How could a student at MIT do such a thing? Where did she learn how to behave?
It was, I believe, in 1973 that Oregon State University had it's first "Anti-War" rally. Cow U was blatantly behind the times. President Nixon had already given his "Peace With Honor" speech. The event--or Action, in Lefty-speak--was pretty amusing. It was funny because Lefties finally got to bring Revolution to the Campus, opposing a war on a front the President had announced we were leaving.
It took years for Profs to finally realize their goal. If you ever took a class from Professor Jeanie, you know what I mean. I would expect more than one of you were in the Honors Program at your college. It seemed to me counter-intuitive that an honors program professor would require allegience to a political core of belief rather than the substantive inquiry into those beliefs. You grab your grade and exit. It's all you can do.
My point is, there was and I assume is, a core group of people on every campus who find themselves adhering to political beliefs in order to please their teachers. When you attach labels like "Honors Program" to that set of political beliefs, it's pretty easy to see that a smug sense of entitlement could be engendered. I opted out of the honors program because of its intellectual dishonesty. Those who remained in the program got the special, "Honors" label. Cool beans.
But what happens at an elite school? How could a student decide that bundling oneself up like a suicide bomber was an act of art?
It's what happened to MIT student Star A. Simpson. Elsewhere I commented on the incident. In those comments I copped to stupid. But I begged the reader to see that there were significant differences between my stupid and Ms. Simpson's stupid. Important ones. Like, time and place.
Likewise, as a father, I've been faced with stupid. My sons my not always agree with me. But they have clear understanding of my position, my beliefs and my expectations. I, like every father, know that my sons are not always successful when it comes to meeting either my, or their, expectations. Just as a perfect puppy needs training, so do we.
And in their role as acting as parents in absence, the University has a very strong role to play in the events that have and will follow Ms. Simpson's action. So, I turn to the best indicator of what and how Ms. Simpson's actions will and are being viewed. First, from the President of MIT:
"As reported to us by authorities, Ms. Simpson's actions were reckless and understandably created alarm at the airport." (Page 22, The Tech, pdf).
But how is the University--that is, the people who populate the University, responding?
"Participant Biyeun M. Buczyk ’10, said that MIT was “bending over to media” and “issued a comment that was taken as criticism when [Simpson] really didn’t do anything wrong. … [She] did no wrong in putting on a sweatshirt.”
"I urge you to direct your public relations officials to alter the MIT position and take a strong stance of civility and rationality supporting Star Simpson. I urge you, as a highly respected leader, to support Star Simpson publicly so that you may regain the support of the MIT student body."
"Eventually, rationality must prevail, and I hope the MIT community will be in the forefront of that awakening — not fall in line with the childish thinking that views a piece of art as a deadly threat. In fact, I hope more students will wear electronic art in public!"
"MIT — which should be acting to help its student — was curiously quiet, releasing only a statement that “[a]s reported to us by the authorities, Simpson’s actions were reckless and understandably created alarm at the airport.”
So the editorial staff has no supervision. Adult supervision. Someone who says, "Look, she was wrong. Adults don't have to 'support' this type of behaviour. In fact, we have a responsibility to attempt to avoid this type of behaviour."
At Columbia the Iranian appears. Where were the voices that said, "Look, this is wrong. Adults don't have to 'support' this type of behaviour. The Iranian is a thug. In fact, we have a responsibility to avoid this type of behaviour."
But this is the type of behaviour gets when one is indulgent. And, I'm afraid, this indulgence has infiltrated more than our universities. It's in our schools, our legislatures and our labor unions.
And they don't understand when their behaviour offends us. It's not so much what they want. It's their complete disregard for adult choices. So I didn't march against the war in the '60's and '70's. I thought the kind of behaviour one found during these marches was boorish and childish. I don't see that it has matured any since then.
UPDATE: I just went to Rosie's blog. Every now and then I click on PerezHilton to touch base with either my own gehness or the gehness of the Media Capital (LA). Remember, this is an adult woman. Whose opinions matter. I thought I wrote dreck.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Update: Watching Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University. If you didn't watch it, it was a smack down. When a transcript becomes available, I will post it here.
Update: The Iranian. "Gays are microbes that should be killed as germs are killed by injections...we have no gays in Iran." So...killing them is okay.
Update: Here's a link to CU President Lee Bollinger's introduction to the Iranian. I've had some time to digest yesterday's event. That gestation will probably appear in a future post.
Two of my favorite words. I like the softness of ineffable. I like the coarseness of ununtterable. And it described my reaction to the announced lecture at Columbia University of Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Having the advantage of growing up during the Viet Nam War, I've watched people I liked turn into idiots when exposed to the Current Narrative Thread.
Again I thank 10th grade history teacher Jake McGee and college professor William Dale. Coach McGee pointed out that anybody can criticize a system, but before you tear it down, think about what you would replace it with. Professor Dale pointed out the difference between belief and knowledge. Given these mentors, would you be surprised that I found common sense in the writings of Edmund Burke?
So, back to the Iranian's visit to Columbia. If you're a C-SPAN kinda guy you've seen it before. All the horrible fawning over celebrity. The ineffectual outbursts. The mindless pandering. How can children who idolize Sean Penn be entrusted with criticising the Iranian? Where is the necessary critical impulse? And then, the ineffable was uttered.
Not today, not last week. It was 1962 and the writer was the nonpariel William F. Buckley, Jr. (From Danegerus Weblog.)
"We all abuse the instruments of discourse, but we seek, under the massive roccoco superstructure of point and counterpoint, to say things to each other that come truly out of our minds and our hearts, because we feel that in deeply significant ways, we are related by that highly elastic, but not infinitely elastic, bond, that binds us to each other."
"Is it not likely that among those of you who applaud there will be those who are in fact applauding their own courage in applauding a real live apologist for human atrocity?" (Click through the links "WFB on Ahmadinejad" to get the full article.)
And that is the point.
This man is so different from us that to view him as "one of us" is defenestration of morality. Thug, kidnapper, zealot, bigot and mass murderer. Given the propinquity of the Iranian, Venezuela's Chavez, and Korea's Kim it is not surprising that those unthinking members of the Left cannot discern this as a moral issue. In fact, given the criminal past of the Iranian it becomes an ethical imperative to deny the Iranian access to the campus of Columbia.
Mr. Buckely's point is valid. For all the stretching and tearing of the fabric of belief there remains a certain concourse. A straining in the opposite that creates concord. The Iranian's presence cannot add to our lives. It can only take away.
Apologeticists for the Iranian exist. That does not make it right.
(WFB article in pdf here.)